[ we make science jokes, periodically ]

The Minecraft Wizard

Markus "Notch" Persson wasn't very interested in the games themselves. He was more interested in the programming instructions in the computer's manual. By the time he was eight years old, he was writing code for his own computer games.

Fast forward to eighteen, Notch landed his dream job as a video game programmer. In 2009, he designed Minecraft in a single weekend. Players use their imagination and blocks to build whatever they choose in the game.

Mojang Studios came along for the ride to help with development. The game was unleashed into the world in November 2011, with Notch stepping down and Jens "Jeb" Bergensten taking over development.

Minecraft is the best-selling video game in history, with over 238 million copies sold and nearly 140 million monthly active players as of 2021. The game has won several awards and has been cited as one of the greatest video games ever created. Social media, parodies, adaptations, merchandise, and the annual Minecon conventions played prominent roles in popularizing the game.

Minecraft is more than a game. It has also been used to teach chemistry, computer-aided design, and computer science. In 2014, Microsoft purchased Mojang and the Minecraft intellectual property for $2.5 billion. Several spin-offs have also been made, including Minecraft: Story Mode, Minecraft Dungeons, Minecraft Earth, and the upcoming Minecraft Legends.

As for Notch, he doubts he will ever top this success; he continues to develop games while fans wait for what's next.